Meet our Associate Director for Project Management, Roldan Buitizon, as he shares his journey that led him to a career in construction management and how he became a leader that empowers his team by balancing authority, trust and having a positive view towards their work.
1.What made you decide to pursue construction and project management as a career?
I started my career out of college as an Interior Designer. I was first employed by a High-Rise Developer in Makati as an Interior Designer, eventually focusing on Design Management and Quality Control. However, my technical approach in design created an opportunity for me to expound on a more technical profession and leaned towards construction management.
In the late 2000’s, I shifted to design management then focused my career to Project Management and Construction Management. My design background helps me interpret and appreciate the design objectives of the project and ensure that it is implemented with the quality expectations of the client during construction.
Then, I was employed by a global company operating in the Philippines as a Project Manager and was mentored by several seasoned international Project Management and Construction Management specialists who worked in the company. My first project exposure with the company was an Ayala-SSI Department Store Project and its successful delivery propelled me to focus on this profession in the succeeding years. I guess the appreciation of coordinating multiple disciplines and steering everyone towards a successful project delivery has changed my professional perspective as a Project Manager.
2. What are the lessons you've learned over the course of your career that have shaped the way you lead?
- Ownership is when you own the responsibilities and ensure you focus on the best efforts to deliver the best output.
- Delegation is when the team displays a divide and conquer approach and contributes to the success of the project.
- Trust is when you empower your team in their roles and believe they can deliver the expectations.
3. What personality traits do you believe are needed to be successful in a project management career?In the last two years, the traits I personally developed to become a successful leader is keeping a balance of authority and trust. When people respect your authority and feel that you trust them, the work becomes an efficient streamline of process. I believe when you empower your team, trust them professionally and recognize their efforts and accomplishments, there is a development of positive attitude towards work and their roles. Hence, they will also respect you as a leader.
4. How do you see the project management business in the Philippines evolving over the next 5 years?
Project Management is a construction sector that will remain strong in the industry. I see a lot of ground up and new builds outside Metro Manila, as well as fit-out renovations, relocations and expansions within Metro Manila that is sustainable to Project and Construction Management.
Certainly, the group that can carry-out a successful Project Management and Construction Management service – on a business-as-usual setting on renovations and expansion projects - will have the market advantage.
5. If you could ask advice from any historical figure, who would it be? What would you ask them?
Friedrich Nietzsche on the quote “What does not kill me, will only make me stronger.” I would likely ask him the best advise he can give on how to stay focused and positive amidst life’s challenges.
6. How do you balance your work and personal life?
I focus my work Monday to Friday to ensure my weekends are kept to myself and family without impacting my deliverables. Being able to streamline an efficient process in the projects and empowering my colleagues (internally and externally) ensure I get the needed balance.
I would spend a bit of time walking. I had health issues in 2018, which affected my mobility to play basketball. Walking and biking has been my road map to recovery. I also spend my weekend on “the Garage”, being a car-fan. On long weekend, I would join for a quick drive to Clark for quarter mile races with other car clubs.
Whenever there is an opportunity, I usually go for a quick drive to Tagaytay or Amadeo for some rest. I am not a beach person. Any opportunity for a quiet time with my wife to talk about life – I would pursue.
I usually eat breakfast at Contis Westgate or The Morning After in Alabang. Good-value food is a nice weekend starter for me.
A mix of Jazz Cover Music on weekdays to relax my mood during work, but mainstream or old school metal (The Main Squeeze, Rage Against the Machine, Black Sabbath, Megadeth and similar music genre) during weekends.
SWAT and NCIS at Fox during weekends, National Geographic’s Mega Build and NBA on sports channels.